In our last post, we looked at 5 core career management skills: persistence, taking risks, curiosity, optimism, and flexibility. Mastering these will almost certainly help you manage your career and activate opportunities in your life.
In today’s post, we look at three additional skills that will help you to super-charge your career!
- Look the part: It’s sad, but true. We humans still tend to judge a book by its cover. But this visual bias has an upside: You can use it to accelerate your career. Dressing up is not just for interviews. It’s for day-to-day professional brand-building. If you’re always well turned out, always just a bit more smartly dressed than those around you, people will notice. And being noticed (for the right reasons) is an important first step in career acceleration.
- Read more. You may recall that one of the five core career management skills we discussed last time was curiosity. One way to cultivate your curiosity is to read more. And not just more, but also more widely. People in business tend to read far too narrowly. Business books, the typical success story memoirs, that sort of thing. But if you want to expand your repertoire of career skills, if you want to accelerate your career trajectory, I recommend that you read books on topics you wouldn’t have immediately thought of. Try a book on history, read the autobiography of a poet, try some philosophy. Anything that will spark real creative thought!
- Find a mentor. Nobody accelerates their career without help. It’s a fact that the best jobs are seldom advertised. Careers are built, at least in part, through networking, referral, and friendship. Finding a mentor is an important step in that direction. Your mentor need not be in the same business or even industry as you. They just have to have a willingness to help you think about your career, they have to be credible (and therefore more experienced than you), and they need to be someone you can trust. Finding a mentor takes work, but it’s a worthwhile investment of your time and energy!
In closing, it’s perhaps important to repeat something I said last time: careers don’t manage themselves. It takes work, dedication and a thick skin! Gearing yourself for that is an important initial step. Now, go out and accelerate your career!